One Dish Dinners: Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

roasted veggies

Since I’m no good with a crock-pot, I have to devise ways of working around my handicap.  The recipe needs to be quick, one-dish, and of course, wonderful.  Then too, always at the top of my list is the requirement that it involve only real-food ingredients.  But that goes without saying for me. Roasted Chicken […]

An Easy Fix for Broken Zippers

fix broken zippers

Since spring refuses to stay around, I’ve had to keep the winter coats and jackets in the closets a while longer.  Fortunately they still fit. But we have had another problem. Broken zippers. Back in the fall I bought Chloe a brand-new winter coat system – the kind where it’s 2 different coats that zip […]

How to Paint Your Laminate Countertops

paint laminate countertops

A few weeks ago I posted my DIY kitchen reveal where I highlighted my $250 kitchen remodel.  I painted my laminate counters, painted the cabinets, and installed beadboard backsplash all on the cheap. And a lot of you had questions about the counters. This how-to post is for all of you who have asked for […]

Real Estate Agents and the Rule of 4

muddy yard

Have you ever heard of the “Homeowner’s Rule of 4″? “Count on it taking 4 times as long and costing 4 times as much as you planned.” For 4 years now we’ve painted, scraped, refinished, and replaced, all to the tune of the homeowner’s rule. But we finally made it to the other side and […]

A Peek at the First House Option

mid-century iconic design

Things have been busy around here this week.  Finding real estate agents, getting pre-approval on loans, and cleaning like mad. We had met with an agent last year but I couldn’t find her when I needed her on Monday.  Found out that she had turned in her real estate license and apparently narrowly escape jail […]

News and Links

southern snow event

Big news for North Carolina:   It snowed. It snowed a lot for Charlotte – 9 inches. We hiked to Harris Teeter in the snow.  Partly because we’ve turned into outdoor enthusiasts.  Partly because I needed more flour to fuel my insanity-driven baking binge. I baked non-stop for the entire 3-day snow event.  Mostly these […]

World’s Best Soft Pretzel Recipe

make soft pretzels

When I was growing up I visited Amish country in Pennsylvania where I experienced my first soft pretzel.   Turns out it was an Amish specialty – who knew? Since that time soft pretzels have become a food court staple, loaded with tons of salt and fat.  Yikes. I spent years trying to come up […]

Fast Fabric Roses DIY

fabric roses

We’re nearing the end of our punch list of getting our house market-ready.  Right now it’s basically down to renting a mini-storage and shoving extra stuff we can’t seem to part with in it, and dressing the house up.  Decorating bathroom counters and mantles makes my minimalistic soul wince.  But I’m working through it. In […]

20 Ways to Be a Great Hostess

20 things about hospitality

When I was young and newly married I spent lots of time reading books on how to entertain.  Silver, china, fresh flowers, and a perfect menu.  It was all the pinnacle of being a Southern hostess and I was determined to get there somehow. There was only one little problem with my tidy little version […]

My $250 Kitchen Makeover

kitchen before

My sister pointed out to me back in the summer that I am a blogging hypocrite.  ”You’re hiding your secret DIY life pretending you don’t do anything besides work out and chant to relieve stress.”  This stung, but I had to admit (months later) that maybe she was right. So, sister-of-mine.  Here you go.  My […]